AS the UK Coastguard recorded its highest number of daily callouts in more than four years on Friday, July 31, Barry Island Coastguard took its 100th call.

The volunteer Barry Island Coastguard team's call was the figure recorded since the beginning of the year.

The team is continuing to urge people to take care on the Vale of Glamorgan coastline.

The emergency service has had to adjust to a new way of working on callouts and training during the covid-19 pandemic.


Barry Coastguard assists men in trouble in Penarth and Rhoose Point

Coastguards deal with Barry sunbathers at risk on dangerous sand

Barry Coastguard sights Weston-super-mare fishing vessel drifting off Rhoose coastline

Barry Island Coastguard station officer, Chris Fletcher said: “As a volunteer team changes had to be made quickly to protect each member and their families.

“Early into the virus and as lockdown started calls were very quiet as people stayed at home.

“Our regular Tuesday night ‘hands on training sessions’ were suspended and replaced with video call sessions to minimise the risk of us mixing as a group.

“But we adjusted to ensure we kept update date with the latest guidelines from UK Coastguard and also on the technical rescue detail we respond too.

“As time went on we took part in local patrols with other agencies to help inform people about staying at home, and later changed to safety patrols as lockdown rules we eased and people started to head out to the coast.

“We have remained on call 24/7 to be there to respond when someone is in difficulty.

“I thank our team and their families for continuing to do this right through these difficult times as the risk is just as real to us as anyone else.

“Callouts started to come in thick and fast.”

Working with their flank teams in Penarth and Llantwit Major the volunteers have, this year, dealt with missing people; dogs going over cliffs; people in the water in dangerous situations; and many other calls to things along the coast.

Mr Fletcher said: “The RNLI team from Barry Dock have also been out on many callouts with us.

“So too have South Wales Police who help us on many callouts and helped to enforce keeping access roads and gateways clear.

“All agencies have had to re-think how we respond and carry out callouts due to social distancing, but still provide the service to the public when needed.

“Once able to RNLI lifeguards and the team at Nell’s Point NCI, started back and assisted us with additional cover along the Barry coastline and have been a great help to us as coastguards on many callouts.”

He added: “UK Coastguard had a record-breaking number of incident’s in one day on July 31, hitting 329, and our team at Barry hit 100 calls in the first seven months of the year on the same day.

“We don’t want to spoil the fun people have when visiting the coast, but we ask that all stop and think about the danger they may be putting themselves in before doing certain activities.

“As a station officer, I am very proud of everyone who has continued to volunteer during these times to help others, but to also follow the new safety guidelines set out.”

If you see anyone in difficulty at the coast, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, 24/7.